The Arctic on the Brink

In 2012 the Arctic set new records for warming and reduced ice coverage of the Arctic Sea. Climatologists warned that the Arctic was warming more quickly than projected. The denialist industry quickly criticized this conclusion, pointing out alleged inconsistencies in the scientific accounts of polar climates.

Four years later the Arctic shows signs of climatic stress. The 2016 near-record low extent of Arctic sea ice confirms the Arctic is continuing to warm. Based on the abnormal high temperatures and extraordinary ice loss, Professor Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University, concluded:

 “There is nothing but climate change that can cause these trends. This is all headed in the same direction and picking up speed.”

Her conclusion was shared by Julienne Stroeve, professor of polar observation at University College London, who also observed:

“The [Arctic] trend has been clear for years, but the speed at which it is happening is faster than anyone thought.”

Scientific commentary on the 2016 Arctic conditions has not persuaded Denialists. If you are curious whether there is any substance to their objections, we recommend a visit to a contrarian site.  Give this site credit for a good summary of the NOAA findings on the 2016Arctic , findings that support the comments of Professors Francis and Stroeve, the two scientists quoted above.

If you don’t wish to waste your time reading unscientific comments by ill-informed individuals, we recommend you check out this video, which is based upon the Arctic Resilience Report prepared by Stockholm University for the Arctic Council and others.

[Warning!! The conclusions in the Report present a sombre picture of the world’s future.]

P.S.  The Canadian and US Governments have banned drilling for oil in parts of the Arctic as they recognize the risk that this activity will create.

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